Wednesday, July 24, 2013

15 Day Book Blogger Challenge -- Day 9 (belated)

I'm still diligently working my way through the 15 Day Book Blogger Challenge (started by April at Good Books and Good Wine). 

Today's topic: Why I blog about books.

I love books, which I guess is the simplest answer and probably one most book bloggers will cite as their most important reason why. 

And for as much as I love to read books -- and it's a lot -- I love to talk about them almost as much. There are people out there who try to dumb down YA lit and are literary snobs, and that really bugs me. I used to be a literary snob. When I was in high school, I was known for loving books and writing and I was obsessed with Sylvia Plath, Dorothy Parker, Jane Austen, and many others. I didn't "read my age." I made an exception for Harry Potter, but that was it. 

In 2008, the cheerleaders I coached introduced me to The Twilight Saga just on the heels of Breaking Dawn's release. I was hooked immediately and that's when I began searching for other YA books. 

The truth about most YA books is that they AREN'T immature, poorly written, or anything of that sort. That's just the myth. These authors are writing to an audience that is well-read when it comes to the YA genre. They've read the staples and the old standbys. These readers might be teens, they might be 20-somethings (like me) or 30-somethings, they might even be someone's mom or grandma. The audience is diverse and expect the highest of quality, especially considering the success of the Harry Potter books -- all extremely well-written and appealing to all ages. Do they follow similar basic plot structures? Sure, sometimes. But there are no hard and fast rules, and just because the romance line of the plot may read similarly doesn't mean that each book/series isn't unique in its own way.

There are exceptions. There are some YA books that seriously undermine the intelligence of the audience, even if it was strictly teenagers. There are always a few bad apples, but literary fiction has that, too. Don't believe me? Read one of my favorite books, The Lovely Bones (teens, ask for your parents' permission ... it's a little creepy) by Alice Sebold, then go read her other book The Almost Moon. I could not make it to fifty pages in the latter book while I've read the former at least a dozen times. Bad books happen in every genre and sub-genre of literature.

But my point is that I loved to talk about all these literary books in class -- I still do, although if I never had to read The Scarlet Letter again, it'd be too soon. But there are so few means for talking about YA lit in person with other people. Goodreads is a great forum. But if you really want to spin a yarn about a YA book, blogging is the way to do it, and reading other blogs is just as rewarding.

So that's why I do it -- because I love books, and I really love to talk about them and I believe YA lit is deserving of being talked about all the time. 

Next up ... how I choose what book to read next.


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